April 1, 2014 |
Three years into the Syrian civil war, neighboring Lebanon is fraying at the seams. Over the last year, as Lebanese Sunni Muslim jihadis and their counterparts in the Shiite militia Hezbollah fought each other in Syria, at least 16 car bombs detonated in Lebanon, in both Shiite and Sunni neighborhoods. In December, a leading Sunni politician was assassinated. Meanwhile, more than 1 million mostly Sunni refugees have streamed in from Syria, increasing Lebanon's population by more than 20% and skewing its delicate sectarian balance.
March 29, 2014 |
GAZIANTEP, Turkey - A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car Saturday evening at a military checkpoint on the outskirts of Arsal, Lebanon, killing at least three Lebanese soldiers in what appears to be spillover violence from the conflict in neighboring Syria. Arsal, a Sunni Muslim enclave in a predominantly Shiite Muslim region of northern Lebanon, has been the focal point of sectarian strife as its population has swelled with Syrian refugees. Hours after the bombing, soldiers fatally shot a woman and child at another checkpoint in Arsal when the driver of a truck in which they were riding did not heed orders to stop, state media reported.
March 19, 2014 |
BEIRUT - Authorities said roads across Lebanon were reopened Wednesday following a tense evening of road-closing protests linked to the war in neighboring Syria. Clashes erupted late Tuesday between demonstrators and security forces as protesters used burning tires to block a number of roads throughout the country. The army fired warning shots and used tear gas to disperse protesters and several injures were reported, according to local media accounts. Fallout from the Syrian war has resulted in a wave of sectarian-fueled car bombings, gun battles and rocket and mortar strikes in Lebanon, causing profound instability.
March 8, 2014 |
BEIRUT - After weeks of fighting, the Syrian military has wrested control of a rebel-held town near the Lebanese border in the strategic province of Homs, military and opposition representatives said Saturday. The seizure of Zara, close to the main highway linking Homs city to the Mediterranean coast, is the latest reported government advance in its effort to seal the porous border with Lebanon, long a conduit for antigovernment fighters and arms. In a statement, the Syrian military hailed the seizure of Zara, which "had been used as a main passage for the terrorist groups that would come from Lebanon and head to neighboring areas to carry out their criminal operations.
February 24, 2014 |
BEIRUT - Israeli warplanes struck targets late Monday near the Lebanese-Syrian border, according to news and official accounts, but there were conflicting reports about whether the areas hit were on Syrian or Lebanese soil. The official Lebanese news agency said Israeli warplanes “launched two raids” in a mountainous area in the vicinity of the Lebanese village of Nabi Sheet. There was no comment from the Israeli government. There was also no official word on possible casualties.
February 15, 2014 |
BEIRUT - Breaking a 10-month deadlock, Lebanon on Saturday unveiled a new unity government as leaders struggle to maintain stability despite profound political divisions and spillover violence from the war raging in neighboring Syria. “A government in the national interest was formed in a spirit of inclusiveness,” the new prime minister, Tammam Salam, a centrist, said in a television address. Squeezed between Syria and Israel along the Mediterranean, Lebanon has become a second theater of the Syrian war and a surrogate battleground for the regional rivalries fueling that conflict.